This lavishly illustrated book examines Berlin in depth during a period of explosive growth between the two world wars.
Between 1871 and 1919, the population of Berlin quadrupled, and the city became the political center of Germany, as well as the turbulent crossroads of the modern age. This was reflected in the work of artists, directors, writers, and critics of the time. As an imperial capital, Berlin was the site of violent political revolution and radical aesthetic innovation. After the German defeat in World War I, artists employed collage to challenge traditional concepts of art. Berlin Dadaists reflected upon the horrors of war, and the terrors of revolution and civil war. Between 1924 and 1929 as the spirit of modernity took hold, jazz, posters, magazines, advertisements, and cinema played a central role in the development of Berlin’s urban experience. The concept of the “Neue Frau”—the modern, emancipated woman–helped move the city in a new direction. Finally, Berlin became a stage for political confrontation between the left and the right and was deeply affected by the economic crisis and mass unemployment at the end of the 1920s. This book explores in numerous essays and illustrations the artistic, cultural, and social upheavals in Berlin between 1918 and 1933, and places them in a broader historical framework.
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Before the Fall
OLAF PETERS is Professor of Modern Art at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg and the author of Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany 1937 and Berlin Metropolis: 1918-1933 (both by Prestel).
Adelheid Rasche, Dr. phil., studied History of Art and Romance Studies at the universities of Salzburg and Rheims. She was awarded a doctorate in 1987. Since 1990 she has been the Director of the Fashion Pictures Collection in the Lipperheide Costume Library (Art Library, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin). Her work has included numerous exhibitions, publications and research on the cultural history of clothing and fashion, the fashion and luxury industries, dance and fashion photography and fashion caricatures.